Firearm: Taurus G3c (MSRP: $305.74)
Taurus released the G3 in 2019, and in her review of this pistol, Tamara Keel noted that the G3’s evolution followed a reverse path – Taurus took the smaller G2c and made it bigger to create the G3. Oh, some things were changed, like the slide melt treatment at the muzzle and the sights, but overall the two were pretty similar. So, it seemed a little odd when Taurus introduced the G3c, a smaller version of the G3. Subtle differences exist between the G2c and the G3c, like the forward slide serrations on the G3 and rear-sight distinctions, but the two pistols are identical in most dimensions.
Differences, or lack thereof, notwithstanding, the G3c represents an eminently affordable option for concealed carry. Not only does the G3c carry a price tag slightly more than $300 (closer to $250 on gun store shelves), but it comes with three magazines. The G3c’s size puts it somewhere between a compact and a subcompact, with an overall length similar to a Glock G26 and an overall height very close to the G19. It’s certainly a useful size, but runs into the same sort of criticism as the G19X – the grip could be shorter to aid in concealment, while the slide could be longer for increased velocity and sight radius.
In any case, though, the G3c is a solid, if somewhat utilitarian offering for concealed carry. The grip is fairly aggressive, which is great for control under rapid shooting, but can lead to abrasion during longer range sessions. Controls are decidedly right-handed and minimal; there’s a well-designed safety for those who prefer one, a slide-stop lever and takedown nubs in addition to the magazine release. The G3c, like the G2c and G3, has “second-strike” capability whereby a second pull of the trigger will activate the hammer.
At the end of the day, though, the G3c is a solid choice for someone on a budget. It’s another option for folks to consider, and one that comes with a lifetime warranty. For someone looking for a concealed-carry pistol that might not have a lot of excess cash, the Taurus G3c might be just the thing.
Holster: Galco Stow-N-Go (MSRP: $46)
In keeping with the theme of decent gear on a budget, the holster chosen to carry the G3c is Galco’s Stow-N-Go, a utilitarian steerhide holster with a polymer belt clip. It has a metal-reinforced mouth to keep the holster open for reholstering, a neutral cant and can accommodate up to a 1.75-inch belt. The Stow-N-Go is available right- and left-hand configurations and in tan and black color.
The simple polymer belt clip allows for quick attachment or removal from the belt, making the Stow-N-Go a great option for a “grab-and-go” rig, one you might toss on to run a quick errand or just to have around the house. It’s affordable, fits a variety of different semi-automatics and revolvers and can even accommodate some laser attachment possibilities.
Knife: Ontario Knife Company Shikra (MSRP: $45.60)
Rounding out our budget carry kit is the new Shikra from Ontario Knife Company. Featuring an AUS8 stainless steel blade with a stonewashed PVD finish, the Shikra has a unique, single linen micarta scale on one side and a titanium scale on the reverse. The knife opens via a flipper mechanism and uses a frame lock to keep the blade in place.
Because of its construction, the Shikra is only set up for right-hand carry. Unlike many other knives, though, it does provide for either tip-up or tip-down orientation. The blade operates smoothly and is easy to both open and close with a single hand. AUS8 steel gives the Shikra greater wear-resistance and toughness while making it easier to sharpen.